I’m a firm believer in something I tend to call food assembly. With that I mean arranging various bits of food (mainly veg and grains) to create a meal consisting of many dishes rather than just one. The days of trying to create something fancy, or perfectly timed, are firmly over in my world. Not that I can say I was ever a great cook and that is probably why I find the art of food assembly so very, very appealing.
It may have started with my mother, who used to choose the dish, four little dishes (fyra smȧrātter), in our local chinese restaurant in Sweden. It was a rare treat for her not having to cook and it was inspiring for me to see that you culd have several different dishes in one sitting. The concept stuck and to this day I prefer picking at lots of different things rather than having a ‘main meal’.
Being into healthy eating brings an untold variety of yummy vegetables and wholegrains you can chose to assemble from. The sky is really the limit when it comes to veg combining but oh, if it was only as easy and simple as reaching into the fridge and taking a handful of this and that. I’m sorry to say but in order to create the perfect food assembly environment, there needs to be a bit of prep. There, I’ve said it!
So.. once you’ve bought your ingredients (I love box schemes and home delivery anything btw) what do you need to do to make food assembly viable? How do we create a smorgasbord of this and that, presented in cute bowls and/or containers in the fridge to be presented on a plate with some added dressing, humus and seeds. Boom! The assembly bit should take about 30 seconds – my kind of cooking…
Well, there is a bit of washing, cutting and bagging kale, tomatoes, rocket, spinach, fennel to name a few of my staples. Then there is the soaking of beans, the mixing of dressings, the cooking of brown rice or quinoa plus ensuring you have enough seeds, nuts, spices (turmeric, cayenne, cumin anyone?) at the ready. Roasting sweet potatoes, beetroot, carrots and onions to have as sides in salads is another ‘prep’ activity which can be a bit of a long-winded pain but you’ll get the payback when they are neatly arranged in your fridge ready to hit your lunchbox. You’ll be the envy of the office, considered a culinary god/goddess and a positive inspiration to all those pork pie eaters with their diet coke.
What I’m trying to say is that prepping is worth the effort. Crank up the music whilst massaging your kale, visualise all the nutrients you’ll ingest and the money you’ll save by not buying the shop sandwich. The final thing I want to say on the subject of food assembly is that it ALWAYS works, no matter the combo. Don’t know how, it just does. Here is my list of things I use to create easy and healthy fast food with bells on.
Much love, Birgitta xx